US university offers new equine degree course

Rhode Island-based Johnson & Wales University will offer degrees in equine studies and animal sciences starting in 2023.
Rhode Island-based Johnson & Wales University will offer degrees in equine studies and animal sciences starting in 2023. © Johnson & Wales University

A New England university is revamping its equine major, offering two new Bachelor of Science degrees in animal studies beginning in fall 2023.

In an extension of its four decade long horse program based out of Rhode Island Johnson & Wales University will offer new courses in equine and animal science.

The new offerings will allow students to continue to specialize in equine care and business management, the growing field of equine-assisted therapies, and broaden horizons to include pre-veterinary specializations and the care and management of other animals.

That Horse Science Bachelor of Science The program allows students to complete either the general course or choose from two specializations within the program to customize their degree: Equine Business Administration or Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies.

That Animal Science Bachelor of Science The program offers the opportunity to choose a specialization, either pre-veterinary studies or equine science.

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With campuses in Providence and Charlotte, North Carolina, the university will offer the new programs in Rhode Island in partnership with local institutions. They offer a wide range of experiential learning opportunities as well as horseback riding for those interested. Students will have expanded opportunities such as B. international equine science and animal science exchange programs to study abroad. Upon completion of the spring 2025 semester, the university plans to close the Center for Equine Studies in Rehoboth, Massachusetts.

The previous courses of study in horse business administration and horse science are no longer offered to incoming students. Students who started the program in fall 2022 will have the opportunity to complete their studies as planned, without significant changes to the curriculum.

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The changes aim to give students more opportunities to pursue in-demand areas and prepare them for a successful career in the animal welfare sector.

Michael Fein, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, said that since the establishment of the equine program more than 40 years ago, the university has kept pace with the ever-evolving field of equine education, “most recently with our move into the horse-assisted therapy”.

“With this latest shift, we are now poised to meet the rapidly growing need for professionals trained in animal welfare, veterinary medicine, laboratory animal care, health and wellness, and life sciences.”

Jacquelyn Bowser, DVM, the director of equine programs at JWU, said the team is excited about the animal science offerings. “These redesigned degrees will provide students with better opportunities to thrive in a diversified industry and gain more hands-on learning experiences.”

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Since 1980, Johnson & Wales has provided premier equestrian programs for students, including undergraduate courses and extracurricular activities. Programs include seminars and clinics with nationally and internationally recognized speakers from the horse industry, a horse-specific job fair, annual participation in the Equine Affaire, and field trips to regional and national training and competition farms. Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales is one of the few colleges and universities in New England to offer degrees in equine studies.

The private, non-profit, accredited institution currently has more than 8000 graduate, undergraduate and online students. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in arts and science, business, engineering, food innovation, hospitality, nutrition, health and wellness. It also offers undergraduate programs in Culinary Arts, Dietetics and Design.

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